In common with other Branches, Coronavirus restrictions have had a tremendous effect on our Branch calendar. Contact during lockdown has been restricted to personal calls and emails between members, together with global emails from our Branch Committee.
There has been a tremendous response from all the catering staff in the hospitals that we serve, with staff maintaining the service to staff and patients. Of course, we have seen many changes, but caterers are always known for being flexible and adapting at very short notice. After all, our service can never be cancelled or delayed – people do tend to notice if they are not fed on time.
Nicola Strawther reports that in response to the pandemic, a private hospital, The Park, supported Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) by taking some NHS patients, including upper gastrointestinal patients. “We had to take immediate action to support this patient group and their specific nutritional requirements by providing education on IDDSI to the catering team and operational leads at The Parks,” says Nicola. “NUH catering supplied IDDSI meals alongside meals from the NUH Memory menu to maintain patient care.
“We are continuing to manage varying products being discontinued in the supply chain,” continues Nicola. “We have a strong Power of 3 relationship, which meant we had minimal delays in menu developments, with five menu reviews under way alongside developments to our meal ordering system and back-of-house product management. Training podcasts are also in development for all our catering team members to access to enhance their knowledge and skills on nutrition in hospital.”
Chris Neale, also from NUH, reported that, “we have worked closely with our retail partner (Elior) to provide a 24/7 restaurant facility over both our sites, giving colleagues the opportunity to get a hot meal through the night and a place for respite.”